Swisscom trims 2021 sales outlook, keeps dividend target

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss telecoms group Swisscom is seen at an office building, in Zurich

ZURICH -Swisscom trimmed its 2021 sales outlook on Thursday, citing a review of its fibre-optic partnership with Salt as well as developments in exchange rates.

It now expects net revenue of around 11.2 billion Swiss francs, down from its previous forecast of around 11.3 billion, and capital expenditure of around 2.3 billion versus the previous 2.2 billion to 2.3 billion, it said while reporting third-quarter results.

It still expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of between 4.4 billion and 4.5 billion francs and reiterated it plans to keep its dividend for 2021 unchanged at 22 francs per share.

The state-controlled former telecoms monopoly in August bumped up its profit guidance for 2021 after reporting a 4.9% rise in half-year EBITDA.

Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court this month rejected Swisscom’s appeal over the standards it has to use in expanding fibre-optic networks to consumers.

The expansion of the fibre-optic networks is “clouded by uncertainty”, Swisscom said. Until the situation is clarified, Swisscom is building only point-to-point network elements such as feeders to homes, it said.

By the end of September, it had connected around 4.7 million (or 88%) of homes and businesses in Switzerland to its ultra-fast broadband service. It said it would make ultra-fast broadband available in every municipality by the end of 2021, even in remote locations.

(Reporting by Michael Shields, editing by John Revill and Subhranshu Sahu)